Arts cuts round-up

This seems to be the gist of the most recent arts/culture cuts…

Direct cuts:

* BBC — 16% percent cut to its budget, licence fee frozen for six years.

* National museums — grants cut by 15%, but must keep free admission.

* DCMS (Department of Culture, Media and Sports) — must cut administration costs by 50% by 2014, and overall costs by 25%. Capital spending down from £1.5/£1.4 billion to £1.3/£1.1 billion (reports vary). As part of this, the cuts passed down from the DCMS to Arts Council England will be 29.6%. Arts Council England are then only allowed to pass on cuts of 15% to “front line” arts orgs over the next four years. The Cultural Olympiad (a bolt-on for the Olympics) is likely to see heavy cuts.

* Creative Partnerships (artists into schools for short projects) — scrapped.

* CABE – the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment — scrapped

* English Heritage — cut by 32%.

* UK Film Council — scrapped

* University teaching budget cut by 40%. With science and technology ring-fenced, there is likely to be a disproportionate impact on the arts and humanities — and thus on the part-time and visiting-teacher jobs that have traditionally supported artists and writers. “Arts and humanities courses could end up with more or less all their state funding for teaching withdrawn.” — BBC.

Indirect cuts:

* Transport settlement will mean higher long-distance rail and bus fares, with knock-on effects on long-distance pleasure travel to events and heritage sites.

* Funding for local councils cut by 25% (7.1% each year until 2014). There will be a temptation for councils to cut ‘soft’ services, like arts and culture. All revenue grants to local councils will no longer be ring-fenced.

* Administrations for Scotland and Wales to be cut by more than £4bn, with a possible knock-on effect on cultural services.

Still uncertain:

* Housing Market Renewal (i.e.: mass demolition of people’s homes) funds seem likely to vanish – along with associated artists’ commissions.

* National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA)… “will leave the public sector and become a voluntary body, operating as a charitable organisation.”

Some snippets of good news:

* Schools will have increased funding to cope with the new ‘baby boom’ that’s now starting to appear in early years classes. Some of this may trickle down to sustained ‘early years’ arts programmes.

* School participation age to rise from 16 to 18, possibly leading to opportunities for 16-18 year olds to do arts/media production-oriented subjects.

* 75,000 “Adult apprenticeships” — possibly a few of these will be in high-demand media-production areas.

* £530 million for super-fast broadband services to two million households, rural broadband initiatives protected.

* Overseas aid budget protected — although grants to the cultural promoters at the British Council (which promotes British culture overseas)… “will be at a reduced level”.

* BBC to get an “ongoing funding of up to £5m per annum from 2014/15″ to buy in local content for up to “twenty local TV services”.

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